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While the debate over funding for next-generation broadband rumbles on in the UK, a court ruling has potentially jeopardised expansion plans for the US network.

Earlier this week, the US Appeals court for the District of Columbia informed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it has no authority to punish broadband providers for slowing traffic to subscribers.

The court ruled in favour of Comcast, which has been providing reduced broadband speeds to subscribers downloading large files via filesharing services.

Arguing in favour of broadband neutrality and the equal treatment for all internet traffic, the FCC claimed it had the power to govern internet service providers and prevent this practice.

However, a judge ruled this is not the case, since the US Congress has not conferred any such competence onto the commission.

The FCC said the decision may affect "a significant number of important plan recommendations" concerning the delivery of broadband to 100 million unconnected North American homes by 2020.

Back in the UK, media regulator Ofcom recently launched a consultation into the way domestic broadband providers use traffic management systems.

Speaking at the Cable Congress event in Brussels, the regulator's Chief Executive Ed Richards said the investigation would look at how net neutrality is affecting the UK industry, reports ZDNet.

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